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Spending on Health Care Rises, Trend Likely to Stay

Ahead of the Affordable Care Act's first year of implementation, a new study finds health-care spending in the U.S. has ticked up.A new report from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, Medicine Use and Shifting Costs of Healthcare: A Review of the Use of Medicines in the United States in 2013,  finds total spending on medicines increased 1.0% on a real, per-capital basis in 2013. What's more, the use of health-care services overall rose for the first time in three years.The total amount spent on medications hit $329.2 billion last year, up 3.2% nominally and up from the 1% decrease in 2012.Michael Kleinrock, IMS Health research director, says 2013 marked the passing of a peak in savings and brought a number of patients with pent-up demand back into the market. "We see patients returning to the system, with the biggest drivers of costs being patients with chronic conditions."Consumers are likely feeling more confident about the economy, and are thus more willing to spend on hea...

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